SchoolArts Magazine

March 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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A s we write our curriculum, we intentionally look at ways that skills in the areas of science, technology, engi - neering, and math naturally overlap what we are teaching in art. By being aware of standards and practices in these areas, we are able to create STEAM lessons that are engaging and meaningful in the artroom. In this lesson, we looked specifi- cally at the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) topic of Interdepen - dent Relationships in Ecosystems: Animals, Plants, and Their Environ - ment to connect authentic art experi- ences that also incorporate practices such as Developing and Using Models; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; and Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information. Since artists use the world around them for inspiration, we help students make the connection between using the Life Sciences and the natural world as a starting place for their art. In this lesson, kindergartners create sculptures of an animal in their habi- tat and make observations about what they look like and where they live. Starting with Clay Snails On the first day, students form their snails out of clay. They receive their clay and roll it into a thick coil. Before flattening the coil using their hands, students tear a small piece off the end to save for the tail. Then they take the flattened coil and spiral or roll it to create the snail's shell and its head. Students then add the tail and use a pencil to make a hole that goes through its head for the pipe cleaner eyes. A pencil can be used to create designs on the snail's shell, if desired. When the snails are dry, they are glazed and fired. After the glaze fire, we add pipe cleaners through the holes and wrap them around the heads. Googly eyes or buttons are hot-glued onto the ends of the pipe cleaners. Creating an Environment When students' snails are finished, we talk about real snails—where they live, how they move, and what they eat. We talk about where we might have seen one. We also watch a couple of videos that explore the many different environments in which they live. Students share with a partner what kind of environment they would like their snail to live in. Each student receives a 9 x 12" (23 x 30 cm) piece of white tag E A R L Y C H I L D H O O D Tara McPherson and Michelle Ridlen We intentionall ook at wa s that skills in the areas of science, technolog , engineering, and math naturall overlap what we are teaching in art. Science CLAY SNAILS Above: Brooklyn. Right: Brooke. Far-right: Dylan. 40 MARCH 2018 SchoolArts

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